Football

 

Chelsea inflicted Manchester City’s first Premier League defeat of the season as the champions were knocked off the top of the table by Liverpool.

Maurizio Sarri’s side bounced back from the disappointment of losing at Wolves in midweek to end City’s 21-game unbeaten league run stretching back to April, and a sequence of 14 unbeaten games away from home.

City paid for a lack of ruthlessness as they dominated the first half completely, only to be struck by a Chelsea smash-and-grab right on half-time as N’Golo Kante fired high past Ederson from Eden Hazard’s pass.

Chelsea gained confidence and momentum and improved after the break, securing the win with 12 minutes left when David Luiz’s glancing header following a corner bounced in off the far post.

They closed out the win to give Sarri his first triumph over Pep Guardiola and leave Liverpool top by one point following their convincing 4-0 win at Bournemouth earlier.
City pay for lacking killer touch

City’s multi-talented squad can cover almost all eventualities, but this was a game in which they sorely missed the marksmanship of the injured Sergio Aguero, and also Kevin de Bruyne’s creation.

Guardiola’s side were on another level to Chelsea for the first 44 minutes but when chances presented themselves, as they did to both Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane, there was either hesitation or an inability to provide the final product that proved crucial.

This is not a criticism of either Sterling or Sane but there was a lingering feeling that had the same opportunities to the predatory Aguero, the outcome would have been different.

City could not recover from Kante’s sucker punch and it was Chelsea who were the more dangerous side in the second half.

Guardiola’s men must now regroup after a defeat that will be a major disappointment but one hardly likely to set City back for too long.(bbc.com)